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Molotov Cocktails, Vodka and Kettle Bells

January 6, 2010

Which of these three Russian objects can kick your butt?  All three of these can easily knock you on your butt.  But, since this is a fitness type blog, let’s make it easy and assume we’ll be conversing about the kettle bell.  The kettle bell’s claim of origin is the Soviet Union where it was brought to the United States by Pavel Tsatsouline and Valery Fedorenko, Russian Kettle Bell champs.  Today, Pavel continues his kettlebell crusade over at, a popular KB site with instructional videos and DVD’s.  In addition, there are certified KB instructors throughout the U.S. and many swear by their ability to burn fat and build muscle.

So, what makes the kettle bell so great?  I’m glad you asked.  Using a kettlebell combines strength, flexibility and endurance.  What other piece of equipment do you use that can say the same?  It’s odd shape – basically a bowling ball with handles, incorporates an alternative set of muscles to use, so it’s a very complementary piece of equipment compared to dumbbells, barbells and machines.  Most kettle bell exercises use your core and compound movements to provide a solid workout.  Russian strongmen found out the use of kettle bells improved their functional strength and added many  positive side effects.  Slowly others began to realize their impact and as it spread to the U.S., its been seen in a lot more places, including a cameo in the last Rocky movie, Rocky Balboa (how’s that for some trivia for ya!).  Hey, even Lance uses kettle bells as shown in the picture.

The major reasons I enjoy kettle bells are their portability, practicality, efficiency and uniqueness.  KB’s are like a bowling ball, only with a handle.  It’s like a built in bowling bag (minus the shoes and Rosin), so they can be carried around between your home, car, park, vacation spot, etc.  The most popular exercise for KB’s, the swing, can be done anywhere as long as it is out of range of small children’s heads.  (That’s my ongoing nightmare – not seeing one of my girls and connecting with them – ouch!)  Portable and practical are checked off.  OK – efficiency is mentioned because you can use a 35 lb. kettle bell for multiple exercises and after 3-5 circuits you can build up a pretty good sweat that incorporates cardio and core work along with increasing your strength.  Finally, I love my kettle bell because it gives me another method of working out in additon to my P90X, running and weight lifting.  KB’s can be utilized within a workout or in addition to your workout.  You can use one KB or use 2 for extra punishment.

There are tons of sites for kettle bell users, but I came across a new site from Chris Lopez called  I want to give him a shout out because he’s also a father with multiple kids, like me.  Check out his site and you can sign up to receive 2 workout routines I like to use to get a good workout.  Trainer Josh also has some exercises you can use as well.

Trade in your Taco Bell and get working with a Kettle Bell!  Then tell me how you like it in the comments section or share your favorite exercise.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. January 6, 2010 9:20 am

    Intriguing title! Got me wondering….
    So, question for ya…how is your back? Do you think kettle bells would be bad for a person with back issues? I’m still going to get one…just right now, I’m in agony…so, what are your thoughts on using a kettle bell (when my back calms down) for people who need to be careful not to aggravate back issues?

  2. January 6, 2010 10:15 am

    Pulls and swings are two movements I incorporate on a regular basis. I never thought about bringing a kettlebell on vacation, lol, that’s a great idea. There is a TON of info here if you scroll down to the sections titled “kettlebells.” Even a few dmo’s on the Turkish get-up. Please keep your kids away! That image makes me cringe!

  3. Jill McKellan permalink
    January 25, 2010 4:03 pm

    This is a great information article on kettle bells. I love my kettle bell workouts. They satisfy many of criteria I have for exercising. They are fun, cardio, and do not hurt my knees. As I learn the more complicated moves it just gets better.

    • January 25, 2010 6:29 pm

      Thanks Jill – just scratching the surface on Kettlebells. I am anxious to get my copy of Enter the Kettlebell by Pavel Tsatsouline. He’s Da Man when it comes to KB’s!

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